Published: September 20, 2003

11th Annual Plane Pull Event Highlights Festival




Washington Dulles International Airport opens its doors and welcomes the community on September 20th to the Dulles Day Family Festival. The festival takes place on the Cargo Ramp at Dulles from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and features the 11th annual "tug of war" between human and machine -- the annual Plane Pull.

Dulles Day is sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department to raise money for Special Olympics Virginia. Admission and parking for this event are free. The festival includes aircraft on display, a car show, live musical entertainment, food and beverages, games and activities for children, and a raffle to win free tickets on various airlines.

The centerpiece of the day however is the Plane Pull, where teams of twenty people pull a 150,000-pound aircraft in a timed competition. The event is expected to attract more than 60 teams, which each donate $1,000 to Special Olympics, and compete to pull the plane 12 feet. Over the last 10 years, the Airports Authority estimates that more than $600,000 has been raised for Special Olympics Virginia at this event. Last year, an all-time high $115,000 was raised.

"We look forward to this annual opportunity for the Airports Authority to support an important program like Special Olympics Virginia and to open the airport to the community with displays and information about the world of aviation," says James E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Airports Authority and Chairman of the event.

As part of the Dulles Day Festival, the ramp area at the Cargo 5 Building will be transformed into a family festival.

The 5th annual car show features antiques, hot rods, motorcycles and other vintage vehicles.

As part of the festival, an exhibit area will include numerous aircraft, including military, commercial and civilian aircraft, on display to the public. Raffle tickets will be on sale at the Festival for chances to win round trip airline tickets to domestic and international destinations.

Visitors to the Dulles Day Family Festival will also find: fire and police equipment displays; airport snow removal and large equipment display; and a Kid's Corner, featuring a moon bounce, games, ball crawl and inflatable slides.

The original Plane Pull - the first of its kind in the nation, was created at Dulles Airport in 1992 to raise money for Special Olympics Virginia. Similar events are now held across the country at other airports.

For more information, log onto the event web site at www.planepull.com which is also linked through the Authority web site at www.mwaa.com.

Parking for the Dulles Day is free. Follow signs on the airport, which will read "Dulles Day/Plane Pull Parking."

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